Defense: No proof Jackson doctor killed singer

Thu Nov 3, 2011 6:49pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Michael Jackson "paid with his life" for the criminal negligence of his personal doctor, prosecutors told a Los Angeles jury on Thursday, but defense lawyers said there was no evidence any crime was committed in the singer's 2009 death.

In closing arguments after a six-week trial, attorneys for Dr. Conrad Murray said prosecutors were trying to blame the physician for Jackson's own actions.

"For a crime to be proved, the prosecution have to show that Dr. Murray actually killed Michael Jackson," defense attorney Ed Chernoff told the jury.

"They want you to convict Dr. Murray for the actions of Michael Jackson," Chernoff said, adding, "If it were anybody else but Michael Jackson, would this doctor be here today?"

Chernoff asked the jury to forget that the victim was a famous pop star.

"If you are going to hold Dr. Murray responsible, don't do it because it's Michael Jackson. This is not a reality show. This is reality."

Murray, who was hired to care for Jackson as he prepared for a series of planned comeback concerts, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He did not testify at the trial and could face up to four years in prison if convicted.

Jackson was found lifeless at his Los Angeles mansion on June 25, 2009, age 50. He was later ruled to have died from an overdose of propofol, which is normally used in surgery, and sedatives.   Continued...

<p>Prosecution witness Dr. Stephen Shafer (R) testifies as Deputy District Attorney David Walgren (2nd L) listens during Dr. Conrad Murray's trial in the death of pop star Michael Jackson in Los Angeles November 1, 2011. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian/Pool</p>